Hearing to review case to free Kevin Strickland from Missouri prison rescheduled

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Less than a day after a Missouri judge sided with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to cancel an evidentiary hearing for Kevin Strickland, his new court date has been set for September 13 at 2 p.m.

Schmitt argued that his office did not have enough time to prepare for the hearing that could free Strickland who was convicted of a decades-old triple murder.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker filed a motion for the hearing under a new Missouri law that allows prosecutors to appear before judges to have convictions reversed.

“Most of us have heard the famous quotation that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Kevin Strickland stands as our own example of what happens when a system set to be just, just gets it terribly wrong,” Peters Baker said. “We look forward to presenting our evidence in the same courtroom where Mr. Strickland was convicted.”

Schmitt and Missouri Governor Mike Parson are not convinced that Strickland is innocent despite Peters Baker’s efforts.

“Three victims were slain forty years ago. Kevin Strickland was convicted of those crimes by a jury, and the Supreme Court recently denied his habeas petition. Those victims deserve justice,” a spokesman from Schmitt’s office said.

Strickland was arrested in 1978 for a triple homicide and later convicted. But in 2009, a key witness recanted her statement and said she made a mistake.

Two other men who admitted to the crime also said Strickland is innocent. They have both since been released, but Strickland is serving life in prison on capital murder charges. 

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